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Maurice Sendak On His Greatest Compliment

As you probably know, Maurice Sendak passed away a few weeks ago.

His book, Where The Wild Things Are, is one of the most successful “children’s stories” in literature. It’s a beautifully written story with incredible artwork.

This quote from Sendak has been making the rounds on Twitter, so I thought I’d share it with you. In an interview on NPR, Sendak was asked about some of the favorite comments he had received from readers.

His response:

Oh, there’s so many. Can I give you just one that I really like? It was from a little boy. He sent me a charming card with a little drawing. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters—sometimes very hastily—but this one I lingered over. I sent him a postcard and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim, I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.

I love that!

He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.

On that note, my copy of the The Great Gatsby sure is looking tasty right now.

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16 Comments Post a comment
  1. Tyler #

    That’s a great quote. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    June 6, 2012
  2. I never knew such freedom as the little boy to eat a postcard–I love to hear about author’s memorable adoration tales. I remeber I colored “The Giving Tree” (Shel Silverstein)with my expert Lowe’s education. lol. Was not that point of a book in black and white? Bless Mr. Sednak. If I would eat a book, perhaps Alice and Wonderland…

    Like

    June 6, 2012
  3. WTWTA is a very special book to me. I recently did a staging of it with my elementary drama students. Certain expressions of art have an almost hypnotic appeal to children, and WTWTA is one of them. Love the quote. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    June 6, 2012
  4. Great read ! Thanks

    Like

    June 7, 2012
  5. I love Maurice Sendak for his honesty and sense of humour. If you want to read a wonderfully snarky interview, here’s the link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books-and-media/the-globes-interview-with-author-sendak-portrait-of-a-cranky-old-man/article4107216/.

    Like

    June 7, 2012
  6. Looking back at things . . . this is why I read you. Loud and clear Robert ;D

    Like

    May 24, 2013
  7. Reblogged this on and commented:
    WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE was first favorite ~ at age 3

    Like

    January 8, 2014
  8. How sweet! How would a small boy know the value of that drawing or even care? It makes me think of that statement, “We are what we eat.” Maybe this will help this little boy become a great author and artist. 😀

    Like

    January 8, 2014
    • Felt the same; about his artwork because I could not read. At the time

      Like

      January 8, 2014
  9. well I have to add that I never really cared for the book when I was a teacher – and then when my own boys were young – we always ended up giving away our copies of where the wild things are. Just never a fan….

    and also, and sorry – do not mean to be a debbie downer here, but then when I saw an interview with him (on the Colbert report, which was just a fun interview to also market his latest book at the time) well there was just something about this artist that I STILL did not care for – and he even said that he did not like children… or adults – I dunno – just seemed depraved…

    However, Mr. Sendak was a good sport in the interview- and for those that DO love his work -there is a funny joke about him making “where the wild things are II” (or not lol)- you may want to peek at this funny interview (funny to me at least)

    http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/406796/january-24-2012/grim-colberty-tales-with-maurice-sendak-pt–1

    Like

    January 8, 2014
  10. L O V E U

    Like

    November 24, 2015

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, June 6, 2012 « cochisewriters
  2. http://pitbullprinces.tumblr.com/post/121801767836/more-free-moving-tips

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